For startups interested in implementing marketing automation, here's a list of must-have features to look for in a marketing automation platform.
December 08, 2017
Marketing technology has become a staple for digital marketers these days. While most of the larger corporations have jumped onboard, mid-sized and smaller organizations are slowly starting to take to it. Competition is fierce in every industry and the only thing that can help the smaller companies to compete with the larger ones is marketing technology. So, many small businesses, including startups have started opting for marketing automation solutions these days because it levels the playing field.
Marketing automation helps startups streamline their marketing operations. It allows them to function efficiently without the need to hire extra manpower. This is a great boost for most startups as they have to operate with a limited budget and hands.
But how does marketing automation help these companies exactly? Let us take a look at some of the features that are important in marketing automation for startups.
1. Omnichannel Experience:
The world of the consumers as we know it has changed. People prefer to make their own decisions. They go online and compare products before buying. They use different devices ranging from mobiles, tablets, to laptops and desktops. So, if you want to engage them, you will have to track them across these different online marketing channels.
A marketing automation platform allows you to craft intelligent, cross-channel marketing campaigns to engage your leads. Your marketing automation platform should allow you to create a consistent, omnichannel customer experience. It should paint a uniform picture of your marketing efforts so that your brand value is not compromised.
2. Lead Management
As a startup, you should always remember that a steady flow of leads will ensure good sales. All marketing automation platforms are equipped with a lead management module. Once you start generating leads, this module helps you track them across all channels. You can assign scores to them, also known as lead scoring to measure their engagement rates. You can analyze their behavior based on how they are interacting with you. More importantly, it allows you to see where a lead is in the sales funnel based on their scores. This can help you in more ways than one. For starters, you will know how close a lead is to qualification.
Secondly, based on their position in the sales funnel, you can nurture them accordingly. Lead nurturing is another aspect of the lead management module that allows you to retain as many leads as possible. It lets you nurture new leads until they are qualified. So, lead nurturing essentially acts as a bridge in the sales funnel where usually most leads get lost. It prevents you from losing out on potential sales opportunities, and that's the best thing that any startup can have.
3. Personalization Is Key
Nowadays, consumers prefer relevance over anything else. This is an important thing to keep in mind while nurturing leads. But, you will also need an extensive content library if you want to be successful in nurturing your leads. The position of a lead in the sales funnel will dictate what kind of content they need.
So, a marketing automation platform will not only allow you to personalize conversations but also deliver content personalized for every lead. Again, the best way to figure out what a lead's preferences are is to track them and analyze their behavior so that it is easier for you to reach out to them.
4. Email Marketing Automation For Startups
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing. But it is still as reliable and efficient as ever. One of the essential components needed for marketing automation for startups is the ability to craft intelligent email marketing campaigns. A lot of communication depends on email. From the very first opt-in to the much-awaited order confirmation, everything is done via this marketing channel. So, it is of utmost importance for all businesses, and that includes you startups as well.
A marketing automation platform will also allow you to craft drip campaigns to engage leads in addition to your regular campaigns. You can use it to follow-up with new subscribers. You can craft new email workflows for new products and events. And, you can even create email workflows that allow you to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers.
5. Social Media Automation
Social media can positively affect your startup if you use it effectively. It is important that your marketing automation platform should be able to analyze and automate social media activities. Unlike other marketing channels, social media allows your audience to interact in an informal fashion.
A large number of people take to social media to voice their opinions, reviews, share articles and much more. It also gives you a chance to engage customers and leads in a one-on-one, informal situation, which can be great for building customer relations.
Primarily, you can use your marketing automation tool to listen to what people are saying about your brand and address grievances and queries. Hashtags are an important part of social media, and you can track them to see what's going on.
6. Marketing Metrics and Reporting
Ultimately, the most important feature of them all is the analytics module. This is the age of big data. If you don't analyze the data that you are collecting then you will be losing out. There are a variety of metrics to look out for from engagement metrics to ROI. Engagement metrics will reveal how leads are responding to your campaigns. More importantly, it reveals your engagement rates. Then, your performance metrics will give you an idea how your campaigns are doing and how many leads you manage to qualify.
Finally, to tally it up, you will need ROI metrics to keep yourself informed about the costs involved. But, these metrics should be put to good use. You should use them to optimize your campaigns so that they perform better. Otherwise, marketing automation will not benefit your startup.
Marketing Automation For Startups Made Easy
If you want to implement marketing automation for your startup, make sure that it has these features. It will not be always possible for you to visualize what you need beforehand. But, with these features, you will be able to get the results that you require.
Stories by Sourabh Mathur